Students, faculty and staff at FNTI’s Ohahase (New Road) Program celebrated International Peace Day, September 21, 2015 with a day of colour, singing and information sharing.
There was a tie-dye session to bring out the hippie in all, an informal sharing of what peace means to each of us and what brings us peace. The Tyendinaga Mohawk Women Singers joined the circle to sing and teach some Mohawk songs of peace.
“I wanted us to celebrate this day because I love all that it stands for - understanding, love and harmony,” explained Ohahase Principal Sandy Brant.
Brant even managed to make lunch an opportunity for students to learn more about peace, with Brant and teachers Amanda McCambridge and Justin Caldwell preparing dishes that represent past stories of peacemaking and peacekeeping. Brant prepared a venison stew and read from “The Peacemaker Brings the Message of Peace to the Kenienke haka” about the Great Peacemaker helping to stop people from killing one another with the help of the deer. McCambridge made a round bread, not just to allow all to “break bread” together but also to symbolize the idea of sitting and sharing in a circle and of King Arthur’s famed Round Table in the Arthurian legend, around which he and his Knights congregate. As its name suggests, it has no head, implying that everyone who sits there has equal status. Caldwell brought dessert (homemade cookies shaped like people with hearts and candies) and shared the story of the Candy Bomber – an American pilot whose decision to drop some candy from his plane during the Berlin Blockade sparked an international exchange of letters of thanks, artwork and friendship.
Ohahase Education Centre is a Ministry of Education-inspected secondary school, and offers a wide range of both compulsory and optional courses from Grades 9 – 12.
Photos by Shawn Sager and Anne Munro.